Greedy, grasping, granny GM pleads guilty

Horton Media’s former General Manager Norah Laurence Tither aka Laura Tither has plead guilty to all charges surrounding her fraud and theft over a number of years.

Georgina Bond at NBR reports:

Horton Media’s former general manager Norah Laurence Tither (Laura) has pleaded guilty to stealing just over $646,500 from the commercial printer, where she was responsible for its payroll system.

Mrs Tither, 70, appeared in Manukau District Court yesterday where she pleaded guilty to three charges of theft.

She was remanded at large for sentencing on October 23.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment.

Horton Media took the matter to police and asked them to press charges in May after winning an employment dispute with Mrs Tither.  

The Employment Relations Authority found Mrs Tither had breached her employment agreement in making unauthorised payments to herself from Horton Media’s bank account.

The ERA ordered Mrs Tither to repay the  full amount to Horton Media.

Mrs Tither, a staff member of 14 years, had unfettered access to Horton Media’s bank accounts and had overall responsibility for making payments from Waiuku Publishing, in which Horton Media has a 51% stake.

A statement of facts agreed with the police stated that between January 2000 and March 2012 Mrs Tither made 298 payments to the value of $436,242 by creating false expenses and transferring funds from Waiuku Publishing to her own bank account.

She also made 150 unauthorised lieu day payments to herself to the value of $210,264 – coding them in the company’s payroll system to departments other than her own administration department so they were concealed from the board.

As a result of the overpayments, Mrs Tither also received $50,815 worth of extra statutory entitlements and $2,965 in employer Kiwisaver contributions.

In an agreed statement of facts she admitted stealing money from Waiuku Publishing, but said she did not know why she did it.

She admitted receiving the Horton Media lieu day payments but denied any ill intent, saying Horton Media had given a verbal agreement entitling her to receive them.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

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